Summary: The Titus Test answers the error of works-based religions and the question of circumcision.
THE TITUS TEST
I. PAUL’S JERUSALEM JOURNEY (v. 1-2)
A. PAUL WAS NOT A FREQUENT VISITOR TO JERUSALEM
1. His first visit as a Christian was 3 years after he was saved.
2. It was 14 years later, before Paul went to Jerusalem again.
3. Paul did not get the gospel from Jerusalem.
4. Since he did not receive the gospel from Jerusalem, he did not need Jerusalem to interpret the gospel for him.
5. This is important to note, and I’ll show you why…
B. PAUL HAD A PROBLEM WITH JUDAIZERS
1. Acts 15:1 tells us that Judaizers were following Paul around and teaching that the Gentiles had to be circumcised to be saved.
2. Acts 15:2 tells us that Paul and Barnabas had a huge debate with the Judaizers over this issue.
3. The Judaizers claimed that Paul was preaching a distorted human version of the gospel.
4. They claimed that Paul had received the gospel at Jerusalem but had misunderstand it and distorted it.
5. With such accusations, can you see why it was important for Paul to establish where he received the gospel?
6. Paul did not even receive the gospel from Jerusalem, much less distort the gospel from Jerusalem!
C. GOD TOLD PAUL TO GO TO JERUSALEM
1. Notice in Galatians 2:2 that Paul says he “went in response to a revelation…”
2. Evidently, the Judaizers claimed that they had sent Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem in order to get their doctrine corrected.
3. They probably said something to the effect of, “We straightened out Ol’ Paul and Barnabas. We sent them back to Jerusalem so they can get it right this time.”
4. But the Scriptures tell us that Paul didn’t need to be corrected.
5. Both the book of Acts and the book of Galatians make it clear that Paul and Barnabas were directed by the Spirit to go.
6. Acts says they were “sent on their way by the church” at Antioch
7. Paul says he went “in response to a revelation.”
8. At first, Paul may have been reluctant to go to Jerusalem, but God revealed to him that HE wanted him to go.
9. Obviously, the Holy Spirit spoke both to the leaders of the Antioch church and to Paul about this assignment.
10. In any case, it was not the Judaizers but God who told Paul to go.
II. PAUL’S TITUS TEST
"3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek." (NIV)
A. PAUL TOOK TITUS TO PROVE A POINT TO THE JUDAIZERS
1. Titus was an uncircumcised Gentile.
2. Titus was exactly what the Judaizers were referring to.
3. They claimed that Titus could not be saved without circumcision.
4. But, the Jerusalem Council did not demand this of him.
5. Even though he was a Gentile, they recognized him as a Christian.
B. THE IMPORTANCE OF CIRCUMCISION TO THE JEWS
1. For the Hebrews, circumcision was a sign of covenant with God.
2. God had commanded the O.T. Jews to be circumcised.
3. God had given it to Moses as a requirement of the O.T. law.
4. Now, Judaizers said, “Unless you are circumcised you can’t be saved.”
5. But, Titus was living proof that the Judaizers were wrong.
6. Paul emphasizes this fact.
7. Titus was allowed to leave Jerusalem just as he had entered.
8. He came uncircumcised and left uncircumcised with the full blessing of the Jerusalem apostles.
9. If they didn’t circumcise him in Jerusalem, then why should he be circumcised in Galatia or anywhere else?
C. TITUS WAS LIVING PROOF
1. The fact that Titus was not forced to be circumcised was proof that the Judaizers’ doctrine was different from the apostles’ doctrine.
2. Titus was walking, living proof that the apostles at Jerusalem held the same beliefs as Paul.
3. Titus was living proof that the Judaizers taught a different gospel.
4. This proved that the apostles gospel was a gospel of grace.
5. Titus was living proof that we are not saved by the rituals and traditions of men but by the cleansing blood of Christ who died on the cross to set us free.
III. PAUL’S BOGUS BROTHERS (v.4-5)
A. FALSE BRETHREN CAME ALONG TO CAUSE TROUBLE
1. Paul says this matter arose because (v.4)“…false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have...”
2. Some of the Judaizers came to Jerusalem to force the issue.
3. Paul used three words describing these men and their actions that are noteworthy.
B. THEY WERE FALSE BROTHERS
1. Paul called them false brothers - Gk. psuedo-adelphos
2. psuedo means fake or bogus
3. They were fake or bogus brothers in Christ.
C. THEY WERE INFILTRATORS